When we think about child sexual abuse, we think of girls being abused by a monster. While everyone is aware of the staggering statistics that 1 out of 4 girls (A) are sexually abused, there is another staggering statistic that remains hidden from the public’s eye and is never even discussed. No one ever thinks about boys being sexually abused, “It is something that very rarely happens” you tell yourself. The fact remains that at least 1 in 6(A) boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday and this statistic is low side since boys and men are less likely to disclose their abuse.
When we talk about sex trafficking, it is all about girls and young women being forced into prostitution by evil men or because of their personal situation they are forced to do it in order to survive. When it comes to sex trafficking of males most think “Boys and young men are not sex trafficked, or forced into prostitution. If they are, they can get out at any time on their own, so they must want to do it.” While we only think of girls and women are the victims of this tragic crime, boys and young men are also victims of it as well. Studies show that up to 50 % (B) of children in the United States who are sex trafficked are boys. These boys and young men just like their female counterparts are often forced against their will into sex trafficking. Other times they are forced into this by their situation for survival due to their dysfunctional family life and are either runaways or throw away children.
There is a great social stigma attached to boys and men who were or still are being sexually abused or sexually trafficked. As a result, no one wants to talk about it. No one ever wants to speak up, so it remains a silent plague that is destroying the lives of millions of boys and men.
Do the math. The number of men and boys who were or still are victims of this kind of abuse or trafficking are staggering and they go unnoticed. They are your sons and brothers, they are your husbands and boyfriends, they are your friends and coworkers and they are the boy next door or the one in your own home. These boys and young men are the forgotten ones in our society when it comes to those who are sexually abused or caught up in sex trafficking. These boys grow up to become men, husbands and fathers, they are your coworkers, sports stars and they sit next to you in the pew on Sundays, however they keep everything hidden and go it alone. There are countless homes, safe houses and programs for girls and women who have been sexually abused or come out of sex trafficking, yet virtually there are no resources for boys and men. Our society does not want to talk about it or even think about this injustice against males. When you add in the strong negative stigma associated with boys being sexually abused or boys and young men being forced into prostitution, they remain silent, alone and forgotten. Their pain, hurt, confusion and trauma does not go away. It is just stuffed deep inside because there is no support and those around them often choose not to listen to the cries of help or choose to turn a blind eye to it, but to the victims, it is not forgotten.
Angel Ranch Ministry is standing in the gap for these boys and men. We give a voice to the boys and men that are hurting and alone. David’s House is a safe home for boys who are victims of sexual abuse and sex trafficking. Timothy’s House is a home for young men who are coming out of sex trafficking or sexually abusive situations. Both are Christ centered homes where they can experience God’s unconditional love, forgiveness, and life-transforming power. Here they will know they are unconditionally accepted, loved, highly valued and fully empowered to live a life honoring to God and to become a man after Gods own heart.
(A) Dube, S, Long-Term Consequences of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Gender of Victim, 2005 American Journal of Preventive Medicine • Published by Elsevier Inc.
(B) Ric Curtis, Karen Terry, Meredith Dank, Kirk Dombrowski, and Bilal Khan, The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in New York City, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 2008